Monthly Archives: November 2009

UPMC Dignity & Respect Campaign Recognizes Smart Futures

Dear Romy,

  We did it –not only did we reach 3,000 online pledges, we almost hit 5,000!  

  Congratulations to Smart Futures for receiving the highest number of online pledges and winning the UPMC Day-of-Service.  A further congratulations to Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania on their runner-up status, and to CCAC for their notable pledge contributions. And a big thanks to all of the community partners, pledge signers, and behind-the-scenes helpers for your commitment and support of the Dignity and Respect Campaign.  

      I’d also like to extend a special thanks to the folks at Leadership Pittsburgh  for their generosity in providing a half Day-of-Service to Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the runner-up in the pledge drive. Their commitment helps us as we continue to promote a workplace and community of dignity and respect.

                                                              — Dawnita Wilson

     Dignity and Respect Campaign Manager 


Smart Futures Brings Dignity and Respect to Halloween

Smart Futures, a non-profit organization that develops online mentoring and educational programs for kids throughout the Pittsburgh region, won the Dignity and Respect Pledge Drive with a tally of 1,671. To promote the initiative, David Mosey, executive director of Smart Futures, hosted “Dignity and Respect Night” at his home on Halloween and handed out Dignity and Respect Flyers to trick-or-treaters. Smart Futures received 500 votes that night alone. “The Dignity and Respect Pledge Drive was very motivational to us,” says Mr. Mosey. “We have the chance to affect the lives of thousands of kids by reaching them through our online services.”

Goodwill is Awarded Half Day-of-Service

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is the runner-up in the pledge drive with a tally of 1,362, and was awarded a half Day-of-Service provided by Leadership Pittsburgh. Goodwill is planning to put their Day-of-Service toward an activity that will involve the people they serve. To spread the word about the Dignity and Respect Campaign, Goodwill reached out to employees, clients, and friends through emails and table sign-ups. “Everyone responded well to the campaign because it fits with the mission and vision of our organization,” said Mike Smith, president and CEO of Goodwill.

CCAC Focuses on Basics of Inclusion

Inspired by the Dignity and Respect Campaign’s kick-off event, CCAC’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity focused on the basic concept of “inclusion for all.” The organization spread the word to friends, family, staff, faculty, administration, and students through mass emails, linking the daily Dignity and Respect Tips to the campaign’s website, and mentioning the campaign in internal presentations. CCAC received 416 online pledges. CCAC’s commitment and support of the campaign is ongoing as they continue to promote the concept of dignity and respect both verbally and electronically.


New Study: Mentoring is Effective with Disadvantaged Teens





A new national study has concluded that disadvantaged teens under mentorship are twice as likely than non-mentored teens to enter into college.

The study was authorized by Lance Erkison, professor of sociology at Brigham Young University. According to the research, a youth’s potential can be determined by the social enviornment that surrounds them. As a result, tennagers growing up in unstable environments may have less opportunity to reach their full potential. Yet, if a positive mentor can intervene, he or she has the ability to reverse negative influences and guide the youth in a more positive direction.

The most encouraging news is that mentors do not have to be a formal influence. Most students who took part in the study revealed that their mentor was not a school official, but a informal influence. The research showed that with over 14,000 students claiming to have a mentor, only 7% of the mentors were teachers.

Teachers are a great influence on a student, but they cannot be given the entirely responsibility. The community is a great resource to reach out to students and act as positive guidance. Mentoring has been proven to be effective with student’s lives, and it is a critical component in youth development.


Erickson, Lance. “Informal Mentors and Trajectories of Antisocial Behaviors” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Aug 11, 2006 <Not Available>. 2009-05-25 <>

News Article on First Lady Michelle Obama and Mentoring

The Coloradoan
November 18, 2009

www.coloradoan.comFirst lady reminds us of importance of mentoring

Partners Mentoring Youth is a good local place to begin

First lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Denver this week brought some much-needed attention to mentoring.

Such programs expose young people to positive adult role models. To help illustrate the message, Obama was accompanied by women Cabinet members, business leaders, an astronaut, actresses and elected officials when she met with 80 girls in Denver.

As the first lady pointed out, “We’re not launching this because somehow we’re the first people in the world to think of mentoring. There are organizations all across the country who do mentoring – they do it every day in the lives of kids, and you don’t have to be the first lady or an actress to be a mentor.”

Nonprofits throughout Larimer County could use mentoring help, but a good place to start if you’re interested is Partners Mentoring Youth. The organization connects adult role models with children ages 7 to 17.

Partners Mentoring Youth says after a year of participating in the program, children show significant improvement, including:

> A significant increase in their future orientation.

> Being more committed to living a drug and alcohol-free life.

> Greater attachment to their family, friends and other adults.

> An increase in self-esteem.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit or call (970) 484-7123 in Fort Collins or (970) 667-0911 in Loveland.

Smart Futures Wins UPMC Dignity & Respect Pledge Contest!



We would like to thank everyone who participated in UPMC’s Dignity and Respect Month. As of October 31st, 4793 people took the pledge to promote inclusion through dignity and respect. A total of 1671 of them were in Smart Futures’ name.

As winners of the contest, UPMC will grant Smart Futures a day of service. We will keep you updated as the day draws near!

Thanks we could not have done it without you, 

Smart Futures Team